>ask yourself who was it that was doing the looking for the answer.

you were, of course.

the answer to this "riddle" is suggested in your own "rain man" story. when you can't recall a name or some thing, you've probably just lost the neural pathway to that memeory cell; and while you're busy doing something else, your brain establishes a new(?) pathway.

The underlying point of my so-called "riddle" is that the conscious "self" is but an instrument of a non-lingual biological system that dictates our interactions with the surrounding environment.

It follows that we who think we are smart, are but a collection of cells operating under a biological imperative without any conscious control by our psyche. Agreed?

I can't agree. The conscious self is often not the most efficient way of dealing with the surrounding environment - cf earlier posts about survival. Why would it be maintained - or developed - by "a collection of cells operating under a biological imperative"?
I deal every day with people who tell me "my snake likes me". Snakes, now - there's an animal with a set of biological imperatives. They have a brain which deals with the four Fs - fight, flight, feeding and - um - mating. They do not have the right kind of brain to like anyone. They cannot behave altruistically. People, on the other hand, are capable of being emotionally moved by another's experience, or even by a fictional one - something that I can hardly see as being a possibility for a collection of cells operating under a biological imperative.

Connie, what you said about pottery and the wheel - this makes complete sense to me. It's what I meant when I was talking about the transition from having to think with my head when doing pottery to thinking with my hands. Same thing happens with spinning and other physical activities - once learned, they are in the body, not the brain.
My brother, who flies light aircraft, told me once that one factor in large aircraft crashes is this: flying is really a right-brain activity, like, say, pottery. It's body-knowledge. But large aircraft have a multitude of numerical dials and readouts, which require left-brain activity. In a crisis there is a split-second when the two parts of the brain "argue" over who has control. I believe this, partly because when I am fully into a "body-knowledge" activity like pottery, spinning, drawing, I find it hard to speak or follow a conversation, although I can hum or sing.

I agree - a very interesting thread. I think a lot about how the brain works, and about how people and animals think. I've said from time to time that I keep certain animals and not others partly because I can "hear" my chosen critters thinking. I know what they'll do, and I have a good idea of their moods. (Snakes have a sixty-cycle hum.) Of course I'm not really hearing them think, but observation and learning help me understand and intuit their behaviour.